Etymotic ER4SR & ER4XR

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by yaluen, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. FlySweep

    FlySweep Friend

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    ER4SR in my ears for the past couple of days. I've got lots of listening in. Off the cuff thoughts:

    It's quite nice.. my first Ety, so I can't offer comparisons to previous versions. I actually like the deep fit. No need to fudge around finding tips, angles, and dealing with less than ideal isolation. They need to sell a small bottle of mineral oil with the damn thing cause you coat that on the silicon tips and they go in like butter. Sound is DF neutral.. linear to my ears. The general tuning leans to the dry side vs the more lush sounding Andro. ER4SR has excellent coherence... single BA drivers, duh. Soundstage is ok.. depth is lacking, width is quite good.. height is average. Imaging is fantastic here though and that takes priority over a large stage (for me).

    Microdynamics are terrific.. subtle detail is resolved effortlessly and presented with ample clarity. The Andro resolves micro detail more vividly and with more depth. Layering is better than expected.. not Andro good.. but better than some quad driver customs I've heard. Macrodynamics are quite passable.. again, not Andromeda good (duh). I need to get a DAC to more accurately get a sense of many of these technicalities, though.

    Tonally, this feels very accurate. Not quite as textured as some of the better multi-BA customs I've heard, but the ER4SR lack "sins of commission" when it comes to timbre. Note weight is a little leaner than i'd like.. but again, I need to her this off something better than my phone or chincy phone/amp combo.

    Lack of bass is a bit overblown, imo. Not really any slam, of course.. but the ER4SR has more punch than I was expecting and if you're used to a reference tuning, it's definitely presented in a way where it doesn't feel totally lacking or unrealistic. Bass is tight, fast, well textured, and extended. Decay is a hair faster than I'd prefer.. but I'll trade that for speed since I listen to a lot of liquid drum and bass, hip hop, and electronic music (and prefer a flat/reference-type tuning with these genres).

    Mids and treble are awesome. Again, very linear sounding.. it doesn't feel overtly forward or recessed anywhere here except the upper mids.. where there's a very slight sense of forwardness.. nothing offensive or jarring when listening at normal levels for extended periods of time.. even with less than well-recorded material (and as long as the fit is right). I really enjoying listening to these at low volumes. One thing that jumps out to me is how delicate and natural the midbass, midrange, and treble sound. There's an impressive sense of finesse and precision.. Ety knows what they're doing here. The ER4SR kind of reminds me of a slightly brighter LFF Paradox (the original, not Slants).

    More thoughts when I get a dedicated DAC. I bet the ER4SR would sound sweet off a good tube amp, btw. Thinking I might go back to customs though.. just miss the ease of fit.
     
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    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  2. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

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    @FlySweep you can get custom eartips for the etys, might be worth it.
     
  3. JewBear

    JewBear Almost "Made"

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    How's the isolation between Andro and ER4 compare? I wish Tyll had some Andromedas to measure.
     
  4. FlySweep

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    Everything I've read says Ety custom tips don't do good things for the sound. I know Ety themselves have partnered with ACS (?) to supply custom sleeves, but I get the sense they're not anything different than sleeves from another vendor (provided they were done correctly).. The Ety foams are nice though.. and per "EtyDave" (the cool Ety engineer over at HeadFi), their foam tips were designed to give the same acoustic response as their triple-flange "ear violator" tips. So far, that's been my experience, too.. treble with the triple flange seems very slightly more tonally correct, but I'm splitting hairs.

    Due to the deep insertion they require, Ety's are renowned for legendary isolation.. like frighteningly quiet (-35 dB I think).. on par with some silicone customs. Andro with complys seems like it would isolate good enough for airplane use (Marv confirmed this).. ultimately, I didn't like what the Comply's did to the Andro treble (but I did like what they did to most of the rest of the Andro's sound). Due to the shallow fit, isolation with silicone tips is not effective, IME.
     
  5. Kunlun

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    EtyDave is the best!

    @JewBear
    John Moulton at Noble Audio once shared research showing that triple flanged foaming isolated better than silicone shell ciems and acrylic, too. The Andros won't touch that, they're average.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2016
  6. JewBear

    JewBear Almost "Made"

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    I was a bit under the impression that all foam isolated the same but I stand corrected.
     
  7. nehcrow

    nehcrow Rando

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    Nice complete review on ER4XR, really keen on hearing a pair/some more experienced users chiming in
     
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  8. Kunlun

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    Check out Marvey's measurements and impressions in the iem measurements forum!
     
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  9. Panohm

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    Just sent in my old ER4S for the upgrade with etymotic, methinks these will be my companion while i'm studying abroad along with my Harmony 8.2 and Soranik Ion......

    Although i have the QC25 I've always found the brain ticklers to provide a better overall NC experience.
     
  10. purr1n

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    I like the ER4SR quite a bit. Being a single driver, it has great coherence. It's desktop monitor neutral, instead living room neutral. I would agree that it's a slightly brighter or leaner LFF Paradox. With how long its been around (I'm counting the prior iteration), I'm wondering if the ER4SR should be a Golden Schlong Award recipient, or at least deserves a mention.
     
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  11. imackler

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    At least there is one exciting awards show to look forward to. The surprise post was fun last year, but it would be cool to have a date to look forward to! (Sure, I'm a dork. I've read that initial post so many times.)
     
  12. Panohm

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    For those that have heard the XR and SR , which should i get? coming from the UERM as my daily driver, what are the bass levels compared to the uerm? leaning more towards XR at the moment.
     
  13. purr1n

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  14. Decomo

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  15. Panohm

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  16. JewBear

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    Just in case anyones curious. The comply make the ER4XR way more comfy and also tone down the treble just a bit. It's pretty sublime, and I would highly recommend everyone try the comply with the new ERs.
     
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  17. k.e.

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    I received both today for review. I love the build quality and accessories (except for the foamies, those are terrible), but the fit is really annoying. The deep insertion is a bit uncomfortable and even itchy.

    I like the cable but I think it's a bit too long and heavy. Also, microphonics are horrible if not worn over-ear.

    I have only tried the ER4SR so far:
    - Where is the sub-bass? No thump, no rumble, no bottom. Or I am listening at too low volumes...
    - Mids are pretty good overall, however, they tend to crunch in the low treble/ high mids. That makes them sound analytical. I heard it's worse on the original ER4S.
    - I really like the high frequencies.

    I know these are supposed to be tuned according to reference linearity. But if my speakers sounded like this, I'd think they'd be broken. The ER4 are a prime example of why headphones need some bass compensation to sound natural.

    But I don't want to say I can't get used to them, I just need a different approach. Really just evaluate them as monitors. And sadly increase the volume.

    Oh, and these are quite hard to drive. I've been using Chord Hugo and Lake People RS 08 so far.
     
  18. purr1n

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  19. Decomo

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    Have you tried with foam tips? I am using it with comply foam tips t100 and it improved comfort and bass quantity. No sub-bass rumble but tight & quality mid and upper bass.
     
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  20. k.e.

    k.e. Winning combo: narcissistic and stupid

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    Thanks, now I know which Complys to get. I don't like the included foamies, they're too rough and don't really help with the sub-bass. I think it might be because of the deep insertion. It makes little sense for me to have the front as thick as the back.

    I turned to the ER4 XR today and... what can I say? They're awesome! They're right up my alley. Very promising so far. Smooth treble with decent extension, neutral mids and detailed bass. Nothing's missing. These should be Ety's flagship.
    I will let my ears adjust a bit, but first impressions make me believe the SR has more of an artificial clarity. I definitely prefer the XR.
     
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